Friday, April 04, 2014

"I lost Ed Truck and it feels like somebody took my heart and dropped it into a bucket of boiling tears."

This post contains spoilers for The Good Wife, How I Met Your Mother, The New Girl, and Hannibal. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED. If you get spoiled and get mad about it, take it up with this guy:

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If this doesn't scare the shit out of you, you're not watching Hannibal and you must remedy that immediately.

You guys. I'm having a problem. TV is betraying me and I'm not sure I can take part in it anymore. The TV. None of it. It's gotten so bad that I've taken refuge in old episodes of America's Next Top Model, over twelve seasons of which is on Hulu Plus, which is yet an other reason I should cancel both our Hulu and Netflix accounts because I'd get SO MUCH DONE. But we already got rid of cable, so I suppose Hulu and Netflix are acceptable vices. It's healthier than binge drinking, probably. I don't know. I'm not a scientist.

When I was in college, there came a point in my classes where I was reading the following three books at the same time: Moby Dick (for a class on transcendentalism), Hamlet (for my Brit Lit class), and Crime and Punishment (for Russian Lit). These are all...dark, depressing works, so much so that reading the three at one time began to affect my mood. That's how I feel about my favorite TV shows lately. Watching TV hasn't been the joy of all joys that it should be, and it's making me want to stop watching TV FULL STOP because why am I even watching TV if not to enjoy myself?

1. The Good Wife

I've already written about this but it's still SO DEPRESSING. Will Gardner died two episodes ago, and in the latest episode, we got to watch everyone hear the news and cry a lot. FUN. I mean, it was very well done but if the rest of the season is going to be like this, I don't really want to watch it. I wish regular TV shows would stop going all Game of Thrones on their characters.

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UGH. About 20 minutes into the finale, I realized I probably wasn't going to like how it ended. The internet has been speculating for months that A) the Mother is dead and B) Ted's going to end up with Robin anyway, even after realizing he wasn't the guy who was in love with her anymore and after both he and Robin had grown so much. I admired the time and thought put into the theories but brushed them off (much like I did when someone posited that Will might die on The Good Wife), because why would they do that? After all this time? After making us sit through that horrible scene where Robin freaking FLOATS AWAY ON THE WINDS OF UNREQUITED LOVE:

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Seriously, what?

In the end, however, that's exactly the path the creators took, because that's the one they'd planned at the beginning of the show. And it was terrible and I hated it. Some clever person, however, cut together a new ending, one that will wash away (a bit) of the foul taste the finale may have left in your mouth.

3. The New Girl

Look, I haven't even watched the episode where Nick and Jess break up because A) it happened right after Will Gardner died and B) I DON'T WANT TO BELIEVE IT. NO DON'T MAKE ME.

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Me too, Jess.

4. Hannibal

Bev died. Bev! I loved Bev! And she died in a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad way!

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I screamed.

Sigh. I mean. I know I shouldn't get attached to people on this show. Everyone is going to die and be made into a fancy pies and Hannibal is going to eat it and maybe throw out some food-related puns and we'll all cringe-laugh into our wine, wondering why we continue to watch these shows when all they do is break our damn fool hearts.


PS: But don't worry, you can wash your tears away with Captain America: Winter Soldier because it was AWESOME. Seriously. It was this good:

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The story was good, too, if you're into that sort of thing.

Monday, March 24, 2014

this contains spoilers for: The Good Wife, Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and other shows that are so old I've decided they don't need spoiler warnings

I haven’t posted in almost two months and, of course, the thing that brings me back is TV feels. Last night’s episode of The Good Wife ripped out my heart and threw it on the ground and stomped on it with cleats and then scooped it up and threw it into a blender. THINGS ARE NOT OK.

Do any of you even watch that show? I hesitated at first, because it’s on CBS and it seemed like a total mom show (and maybe it is, because most of the moms I know watch it), but it’s actually really, really good. I KNOW. It shouldn’t be that surprising, really. It’s filled to the brim with talent: Julianna Margulies, Christine Baranski, Nathan Lane, Alan Cumming, and, until last night, Josh Charles.

Because last night The Good Wife lost its damn fool mind and killed off Will Gardner.

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I have two major problems with this (well, three, if you count the fact that I don’t get to see Josh Charles on my TV every week):

1. The Good Wife is not Grey’s Anatomy. Killing off your male lead? OK, I guess, if you absolutely must, but in a courtroom shooting? Really? 

2. No more Willicia. A major driving force of the show was the will-they-won’t-they thing between Alicia and Will (and whether or not she’d ever leave her dumb husband for him). So. Guess that’s over, unless Will comes back as a walker.

Earlier this week, my friend, Nancy, who keeps tabs on these things, brought to my attention that Josh Charles hadn’t yet signed his contract for next season. We briefly considered the idea that they might kill him off, but dismissed it for the above reasons. Because why would they do that? I’ve seen articles calling this a brave move and, yeah, I guess it is, but was it smart? I’m sure the show will continue to be well-written and well-acted. It will probably bring out some really fantastic acting from the other leads. But I can’t imagine I’ll enjoy it the way I used to. I told Nancy that I would stop watching the show if they killed Will. I still have that inclination, but am also curious to see how the rest of the season plays out. So I’ll watch, but I doubt my heart will be in it (except for the part of my heart that is HORRIBLY BROKEN BEYOND ALL REPAIR).

I don’t remember being this upset about a character’s death since I don’t know when. Which is a total lie, because I REMEMBER THEM ALL. And here they are, in order of feels:

Sybil, childbirth (Downton Abbey)

I was spoiled for this and it was still hard to watch. The show killing off the most likeable of the sisters was shocking enough but was especially nutso when you consider what happened later that season, which leads me to...

Honorable mention: Matthew Crawley, car accident. I was also spoiled for this but, even as I watched, was hoping I'd read it wrong? I read an article last night that compared Will’s death’s to the move they made with Matthew on Downton Abbey and couldn’t help but think, “oh, fantastic, that’s when I lost all interest in the show.”

Billy, brain tumor (Ally McBeal) 

I know, right? What? Ally McBeal? I don't remember a whole lot about this, other than it was really sudden and shocking because this was before the internet spoiled everything.

Melissa Scully, gunshot wound (The X-Files)

This was mostly sad because it made Scully cry a lot and Scully crying is the saddest thing ever.

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Honorable Mention(s): Mulder, buried alive in the desert. And Mulder, gunshot wound to the head. And Mulder, alien...stuff.

Hank, shot in the desert (Breaking Bad)


The Red Wedding, EVERYBODY STAB NOW (Game of Thrones)

No, I HAVEN’T read the books, thanks for asking, and yes, I reacted exactly like these people did:

Boone, airplane crash, but not THAT airplane crash (Lost)

I wasn't all that attached to Boone, but this was the first main character death and the moment we learned this show wasn't playing around re: killing off favorites.

Honorable Mention: Sun/Jin, drownded (WHY BOTH WHYYY)

Honorable Mention #2: Charlie, also drownded (NO SERIOUSLY WHYYYYY)

Lucy Knight, stabbed (ER)

ER was one of the first shows I really, really loved, and so Lucy’s death was the first time I realized a show could break my heart.

Joyce Summers, Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

This one was just mean. Just...I hate you, Joss Whedon.

Honorable mention: Anya, killed as an afterthought, RIP.

Mrs. Landingham, car accident (The West Wing)

I don’t want to talk about this anymore.

Anyway, RIP Will Gardner.

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At least Dan is still alive.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014


So, those who follow me on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram (in other words, those tools I use to distract me from doing some actual blogging/writing), may already know this, but Joe and I got a new dog!

She is the weirdest dog ever and I love her.
(I’m sure most of my friends and family, upon hearing that we had some “big news,” expected it to be about a baby but nope. Sorry!)

Anyway. She's a year old, some sort of beagle mix, and her name is Mara but she already has some nicknames, including:

Crazy Eyes
Mad Eye Mara

and, my favorite...ROONEY MARA.

(Thank you, Billy Eichner. I can’t find a video of Billy Eichner shouting ROONEY MARA but just trust me that it’s hilarious, OK?)

When I started working at an animal shelter, I figured it was only a matter of time before I fell in love with a dog and brought it home. In fact, I soon started coming home at least once a week, regaling Joe with tales of some new dog I was obsessed with. But he never took the bait. hindsight was a good thing because A) those dogs were awesome, but would have been a disaster in our house and B) then we wouldn’t have gotten Mara.

I met Mara when I took her to an adoption event about a month ago. The point of taking animals to these adoption events is to hopefully get someone to, you know, adopt them, or at least generate some interest in the dog, so maybe someone will see itand, like, go home and think about it for so long that they’ll suddenly realize they simply HAVE to go back and adopt it.

I guess this time, that someone was me. I actually called Joe and told him to come to the event so he could meet her, thinking that if I was being ridiculous (again), he’d talk me out of it, but then he knelt down in front of Mara and she perched her front paws on his knee and licked his hand and BOOM we were DONE. WE ARE SUCH SUCKERS.

Still, I wasn’t sure. I didn’t want to rush into anything, so we decided to wait and see if she was still available in a week. Plus also, you know, introduce her to Max and make sure she didn’t like to eat cats. She passed both tests with flying colors.

Phoebe doesn’t really like her, but then again, Phoebe doesn’t really like anyone. Unfortunately, Mara, so far, has not shown Phoebe the deference that Max does, so there’s been a lot of hissing and “NO MARA”-ing, but I suppose that’s to be expected.

We were prepared for a second dog. It’s something we’d been talking about since we moved into our house. There were things we knew, like that our expenses would double, the dogs might not get along at first, Phoebe might riot and puke and pee on all of our stuff, but we were pretty sure we could deal with it.

However. (There’s always a however.) There were things we did not consider. For instance, it turns out Mara is allergic to grain. So that’s been fun! There were a couple of nights where we didn’t sleep, because Mara was up hacking and LICKING THE DAMN FLOOR, which I don’t think is bad for her but it’s really, really unsettling. Also, there was one night where she was acting like she was going to throw up, so I let her outside and then went to the basement to look out the window at her and was climbing over the couch when I fell and ended up knocking over some water I’d left down there and so there was shattered glass just, everywhere, and I thought maybe Joe was going to murder me.

Anyway! Since that escapade didn’t end in divorce, I feel pretty good about the solidity of our marriage. Whew.

It’s been about two weeks now and I think things are finally starting to get to the new normal. Even Phoebe seems to have accepted yet another interloper in her world. Max was pretty perturbed the first few days that Mara was here, mostly, I think, because of two reasons. One was the aforementioned middle-of-the-night hacking, which disrupted his sleep, and the second is that she doesn’t seem to care if Max is lying somewhere she wants to be, she just jumps up and crowds right into him...which disrupts his sleep. He’s getting used to it, though, and has stopped giving us, “why did you do this to me,” looks.

That’s actually one of my favorite things that Mara does. She just makes herself comfortable, wherever she may be, which then causes her to do one of my other favorite things. She seems to hate falling asleep, I assume because she’s afraid she’ll miss something, so she holds her head up and her eyes just fall slowly closed, until she jerks her head and wakes herself up. IT’S ADORABLE YOU GUYS.

She lost.
I was sort of worried that there was no way I could ever love another dog as much as I love Max but it turns out I can and now I love Max even more? Love is so weird. I sometimes think of love as this exhaustible resource, like I should hoard it to myself because I might run out eventually, but duh, obviously this is not the case.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

the year end stuff

This morning, around, oh, 3:45am, I threw back the covers, grabbed my pillow, and stomped out of the bedroom because Joe was snoring so loud that I felt my only options at that point were to either smother him with a pillow or go sleep downstairs. I chose to sleep downstairs. I hope Joe appreciates that.

So, you know, I guess it would seem that the year is going out the way it so often comes in: with too little sleep and a headache. I guess what I'm trying to say is I feel hungover even though I haven't had a drop of alcohol which seems unfair? But c'est la vie.

I'm so tired, in fact, that I have started babbling even more incoherently than I usually do, leading Joe to tell me multiple times to just take a nap already. But will I? No! Because I'm not tired! I am basically this today:

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But that's not what I want to focus on. OH NO IT'S NOT. It seems only right that I write some sort of end of the year wrap-up, because of, I don't know, blogging rules or some shit. So here are some things, mostly good, that happened this year.

1. I had some book reviews published on Pajiba. SO AWESOME.

2. Related: Marcus Zusak, author of The Book Thief, tweeted me about my review of his book. SO VERY AWESOME.

3. Also related: blogger and writer Pamela Ribon also tweeted in response to a review. ALSO SO VERY AWESOME.

4. I quit the job that was causing me emo feelings.

5. I got a new job where it's actually in the job description to play with dogs and cats.

6. I went on several trips, Chicago (twice!), South Carolina, Florida, and had almost 100% positive experience with all! I say almost because one trip was for work. The non-work parts were awesome. The work-work parts were...not.

7. Two friends had babies.


9. Had some feelings about volunteering.

10. Wrote a lot. I know it doesn't seem like it if you just look here but I wrote here and for Cannonball Read and Ashley's Harry Potter project but I also did a lot more personal writing. So there's that.

There's probably more but I'm tired of typing and really wanted to end on 10 SO THERE.

Happy New Year, internet. I wish you many David Tennant GIFs (and, you know, other good things) in the coming year!

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Monday, December 30, 2013

hold onto your butts

I can't believe I haven't written about this yet. I guess I've been The United States of Tara in its entirety over the course of a week. PRIORITIES.

Christmas came and went, as it does, and very quickly, as it ALSO does, and faster and faster each year. But, lucky woman that I am, I got to open one of my Christmas presents early.

I came home from work one evening, exhausted and stinking of puppies (which is pretty standard these days), and trying to work up the energy to go to my work Christmas party (which wasn't too difficult, it's just that I need to work up energy for any kind of extended social interaction where small talk might be expected), when I noticed a card sticking out of my Christmas stocking.

Inside were two tickets to Newport Aquarium's Penguin Encounter. See:

Craziest eyes to have ever crazy eyed.

My response to opening this gift was something like, "What? What? What does this mean? Does this mean...oh my god...oh my god...what does this mean? Does this really mean we get to meet penguins? Like meet meet them? Like shake hands?" for, oh, about half an hour? And then for the rest of the week? JOE IS SO LUCKY.

It was awesome, you guys. The encounter itself lasts only about twenty minutes, which passes far too quickly, but it's great. I'd go again. Like, SO MANY TIMES AGAIN. I'd pay five times as much if it meant I could spend twice as much time with the penguins. I briefly considered asking for a job application once it was over. I mean, how different are penguins from dogs really?

When you arrive at the penguin encounter, a penguin handler makes you wait five minutes while he or she tells you about how you can't pick up the penguins and cuddle them like little babies unless you don't have a particular fondness for your eyeballs anymore. (Still. It's tempting.)

After the liability spiel, you're finally allowed in the room with the penguins. When we went, there were about eight penguins roaming about the room. You mostly just sit in one place and have to wait for the penguins to approach, which is difficult. I really wanted to get up and waddle around with them but I don't think that's allowed.

The handler picks up various penguins and you're allowed to, like, pet them on the back and wings. They're so soft! I wasn't expecting that. And they sometimes make sounds like braying donkeys. Definitely was not expecting that, either. Anyway. Here are some pictures of penguins. That's what you're here for, right?


I named this one Donkey because she made donkey noises. CREATIVITY.

Blueberry tried to steal my umbrella. I guess cause it was blue.

Newport Aquarium opened in 1999. It's open every day (except major holidays), there are five penguin encounters daily, and each encounter has a limit of 12 people. Assuming the penguin encounters started when Newport Aquarium opened, over 300,000 people have taken this tour. It's fairly easy to buy a ticket. It's not all that expensive. Anyone could do it. But I don't care. It still feels special. Like, I touched a penguin! Who cares if so many other people have done the same? Extraordinary experiences don't become any less extraordinary just because others have experienced them.

I'm not sure when my obsession with penguins began. It was probably always there, along with my obsession with, oh, all other animals. I know seeing this video a million years ago definitely didn't help:

And this latest penguin encounter has only strengthened my resolve to have my own pet penguin someday. I'LL SPARE NO EXPENSE.

Friday, December 06, 2013

All I want for Christmas is this

I keep dreaming about work. But not my current job or anything, because that would be normal. No, I keep dreaming about my old job, which is very annoying as I no longer work there. 

I guess I had a lot more anxiety tied up in my previous job than I realized. The reasons aren't really important. But apparently the anxiety didn't magically go away, even though I haven't worked there in months. I had the most vivid dream about it last night, so vivid that I woke up convinced I was running late, that I needed to get up right away and leave early since it was snowing.

I don't have to be at work until 11:30 today. I woke up at 7:30. So. You do the math.

I don't have anxiety dreams about my new job. Not yet, anyway. Maybe those don't show up until you've been there at least six months. Still. I wish I'd stop dreaming about my old one. I'm not holding my breath or anything, I mean, after all, I had an anxiety dream about high school a while ago and high school is a lot further back than a few months.  

Speaking of work (NICE SEGUE), I had yesterday off so I took my sister to see Catching Fire. We went in the middle of the afternoon and there were about ten other people in the theater, and yet there was still a lady sitting a few rows behind us, explaining specific plot points (loudly, of course) to her husband. She was one of those people who, instead of whispering to her partner during non-silent parts of the movie, would try and speak OVER the loud parts, because OMG what if he couldn't hear her? What if he didn't know that, in the previous movie, Peeta and Katniss had almost eaten poison berries? What if he forgot that Katniss had volunteered for Prim? What if he didn't remember that District 13 supposedly didn't exist? OMG PEOPLE GO HOME AND READ THE BOOKS.

Usually movie-talking sends me into an apoplectic rage. I normally sit there fuming, wishing I could get up and scream, "SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UUUUUUUP" into the person's face.

Which. I never do. Not out loud. But my brain always looks like this:

 photo chandlershutup_zpsd281c14c.gif's probably more like this:

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But it didn't bother me that much yesterday. I thought, "well, maybe he's hard of hearing and he missed that part." I guess I finally remembered the whole "this is water" thing while I was actually IN the moment. Score.

(Though that didn't stop me from passive aggressively complaining about the ongoing idiot commentary within earshot of Talking Lady as we exited the theater. YOU GUYS I CAN'T HELP MYSELF.)

Anyway. I'm finding it hard to get worked up about things lately, especially this morning, as right now I'm sitting on the couch, curled up with Max, a blanket, and a hot cup of coffee, the computer screen illuminated by the Christmas tree next to me. I'm listening to the Muppets sing Christmas carols and snow is falling softly outside. I plan on reading Harry Potter until it's time to leave for work, where I will get to play with puppies and kittens until I come home and hang out with my family for the rest of the evening. No wonder I can't bring myself to get worked up about anything, not even Talky Lady and crazy anxiety dreams. Hopefully it'll stay this way. You know, if the fates allow and all that.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

My idiocy is well-documented on this blog, but I really outdid myself yesterday. I went to the grocery after work, in the midst of a (barely) snowstorm, two days before Thanksgiving. And not only that, I went to the bad Kroger, the one with long lines and not enough cashiers, the one with questionable produce at the best of times, all because it’s five minutes closer than the good Kroger. I always do this. The good Kroger is so nice. It’s newer, everyone who works there smiles and says hi and asks if you need help instead of glaring at you or avoiding eye contact, and they always ask me if I’d like help out to my car. I would never, ever take them up on that, but I like being asked. It makes me feel like a 50s housewife for a moment (and a moment is really the only length of time I ever want to feel like a 50s housewife).
Her eyes are screaming.

I walked around the store, doubling back now and then as I inevitably forgot something, and spent my time mentally killing everyone in my path. The woman examining a box of band-aids, somehow blocking two aisles: DEAD. The man careening one of those stupid car carts down an aisle while his screaming children orbited around it like flies on a turd: DEAD. The lady standing in front of the bananas, blocking the entire display with her cart, while she obliviously chattered away on her phone: DOUBLE DEAD.

As I walked down the baking aisle, scowling at the world in front me, my brain looked like this:

I made this myself.

And then this lady, an older woman who was being trailed by several grandchildren, started coming down the aisle. I was already mentally rolling my eyes as her grandchildren splintered away and she slowly rolled her cart down the very middle of the aisle. However, she maneuvered her cart to one side when she saw me and then she completely erased my bad mood. It was like magic.

“Do I need nutmeg? Hmm, I can’t remember if I need nutmeg,” she said to the grandchildren who were no longer behind her. She kept walking, paying no mind, then looked straight at me.

“What do you think, honey? Do I need nutmeg?” she asked.

And without even thinking, I blurted out, “Of course, you can never have too much nutmeg. I bet you’ll be glad you have it.” She laughed and thanked me for my help, then continued making her way down the aisle as I exited the other end, grinning like a fool.

It reminded me, almost exactly, of a commencement speech David Foster Wallace gave called This is Water. Have you heard it? Here, just watch it. I know ten minutes of internet video is like ten hours of real time, but I promise you that it’s worth it.

I wish I could tell you that, after my short interaction with that lady, I made a conscious effort to pull my head out of my ass and remind myself that no one else in the store really wanted to be there either, and maybe I did, for a few moments, until someone else entered my glare zone. So, you know. Can't really put that one in the win column.

Although, at least I’ve got the perspective now, right? And just in time for Thanksgiving, too.